Local Commentary

Editorial: The Artist & The Jock

A couple in Falls Church awhile back were able to boast about both of their sons. One was a star on the local high school football team. The other was the star of the high school musical.
Unfortunately, it persists to this day as a pattern that the one son in sports garnered far more attention and accolades than the other. Naturally, both were worthy of esteem-building honors, but our editor reminded the father once that it would be the son with the penchant for the theater arts who would go further in life if he pursued his interest, even into professional ranks. The football-playing son, on the other hand, unlikely to be one of the tiny handful of high school athletes to even make it onto a college roster, would not carry much, in terms of acquired skills, from his interest in sports that would help him as an adult, except maybe as fodder for some war.

At the risk of oversimplifying the case, we cite two experiences from the past week that illustrate the point, not to elevate one program over the other, but to obtain a better balance in what currently remains a very unbalanced reality.

On the one hand, there was the incredibly impressive Cappies Annual Gala at the Concert Hall of the Kennedy Center on June 14. It was impressive both for the enthusiastic response of the audience that filled the house, and for the level of talent that the high school students who performed numbers from their plays and musicals of the past year exhibited on stage. That included, of course, Falls Church’s Sam Waters, who won for Best Male Vocalist.

As with Sam Waters, so with virtually as many of the students that filled the stage with production numbers from musicals like “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and “Once on This Island” as desire to. They will have countless opportunities throughout their lives to bring happiness and positive values to many, many people launched by their high school theater achievements.

On the other hand, at the Falls Church School Board meeting two days later, a George Mason High senior invited to speak about the just-completed boys soccer season was, to his great credit, very candid and articulate describing his disappointment at the end of his sports career, even though it ended with a bid to win a state championship.

We’ve seen it time and again over 20 years publishing in Falls Church, boys and girls who stake so much on their sports pursuits from T-ball days on up accumulate all those trophies, awards and adoration by parents and students, alike, only to find it all comes to a rude and sudden end with that last high school game.

We are very grateful for the Cappies program, because it serves to bring a better balance to what high schoolers get all the attention for. Who knows, maybe someday academic achievement will begin to get some of that limelight, too.

 

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